Lochard Gorge is named after the ship Loch Ard which ran aground in a stormy night losing all souls aboard except for Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce (both 18 years old) who managed to swim ashore, ending up in the gorge. There is a small cemetery nearby where crew members and passengers whose bodies were recovered are buried.
It quite easy to descend into the gorge via a set of relatively recently constructed steps. Once down it is easy to get some idea of the difficulties facing Eva and Tom on a stormy winter’s night.
On this day with the bitumen in the road and car park melting under the blazing sun and sticking to the soles of my sneakers, two of my Canadian visitors opted to remain in the comfort of my car.
So it was that my Canadian friend, of nearly forty years descended into a cauldron of blistering heat which was devoid of any breeze and, I am sure, ten degrees hotter than the car park.
On any other day I would have happily explored the caves. However, with loose burning sand beneath my feet, the thought of climbing out of the gorge left me searching for the shade on the north side of the gorge searching for oxygen – hot or cold would do!
It is only a short drive to Port Campbell where we stopped long enough to re-hydrate and cool down a little…..okay we stopped at a pub! My Canadian friends would have called it a Bar. It was only a short stop, before heading inland for the two hour drive home after an enjoyable, but extremely hot, day.